Social media has become an indisputable part of our everyday lives. In fact, 3.78 billion people are now using social media on a global scale. What’s more, according to Oberlo, our social media use increased by a staggering 5% in 2020.
Social media can do a lot of good, as it allows us to instantly connect with loved ones and business owners all across the world. But it can also be dangerous if it’s used improperly. From mental health concerns to legal troubles, you’ll want to avoid certain bad habits when using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and all of your other favorite platforms.
With that in mind, here are just three social media behaviors you’ll want to avoid in 2022 for a happier, healthier life.
We already know that there’s a connection between excessive social media use and negative mental health effects. This might be caused by any number of factors, including socio-political unrest, health-related fears, isolation, bullying, or feelings of overwhelm and inadequacy.
When you’re especially active on social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “doom-scrolling” – the act of mindlessly looking through your feed in a way that might negatively impact your well-being. You might not even realize you’re doing it, but you’ll almost certainly feel the side effects.
While it’s important to stay informed about what’s happening in the world, you don’t have to spend every waking moment on social media. Aim to decrease your screen time whenever possible and break the habit of opening social networking apps during lulls in your day. Once you’re caught up, log off. You can even set limits on how long your phone will allow you to scroll!
Sharing Offensive Posts
Social media allows you to share your thoughts at any time you want. But just because you can share anything doesn’t mean you should.
Although 40% of social media users say they never post about social or political issues on their pages, a little less than 10% say they actually do so frequently. Even if you’re discerning about who you allow on your friends list and believe that your online community has shared beliefs, you could run the risk of being banned from the platform or even facing real-life consequences from family, friends, and work colleagues.
In the realm of social media conduct, discriminatory and inappropriate posts can do even more damage than a political disagreement. Around 41% of recent survey participants said these kinds of posts would act as the biggest red flag during the hiring process. Approximately 40% of job seekers who lost out on opportunities in 2018 did so due to posting inappropriate photos or videos.
Sure, you can theoretically say whatever you want on Facebook. But that doesn’t mean your actions are free from consequences. If your words go against the platform’s terms of service, you could get kicked off for good. And if your employer gets wind of what you’ve written, it’s possible you could lose your job.
It might feel good to vent in the moment. But that relief is often temporary. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with posting about something you believe in, you’ll need to be prepared for potential fallout. In many cases, it’s simply better to abstain from posting anything that could come back to haunt you later.
Forgetting About Privacy Settings
The good news is that you don’t have to grant access to everyone who wants to see your social media profiles. But if you don’t know how to handle your privacy settings, you could be unknowingly giving up too much personal information.
Beware of oversharing in the moment. If you want to tag your location, do so after the fact. In some cases, this could prevent criminal activity (including stalking or burglary). When followers don’t know where you are, you may not be as likely to become a victim.
Private social media accounts are becoming more popular, as they can provide some extra protection in a number of situations. But some of your posts may be easier to access than you’d think. And remember: even someone you know could betray your confidence! It’s as easy as taking a screenshot. Be sure to review your privacy settings in detail to ensure you haven’t missed anything. When in doubt, cull your friends list and think twice before you post.
It’s a fact that social media is fairly ubiquitous. However, you’ll want to be careful how you use these platforms. By breaking these bad social media habits, you’ll have a better experience and protect yourself from potential harm.